All I really want to do is to curl up with my pup and allow sleep to visit and carry me wherever it has a mind to go. Am I depressed? No. Is something bothering me that I want to escape? No Do I feel sleepy or drugged? Yes. Not enough caffeine and on medications? That could be the reason and yet the reasons for it and other things that happen to us do not always have a reason we can point to in an accusatory way. But does that stop us from wondering why or what caused something? It does not stop us at all. To be inquisitive is our nature. We want to know how we can either avoid or to recreate these things that happen. We are life junkies and the control freaks of varying degrees.
Following good health practices, strapping on those seat belts, applying that sun screen and looking both ways at intersections cannot guarantee protection. Life is a crap shoot. We all know that. Does this mean we do not need to be sensible, follow directions, pay heed to laws of both man and nature, or try to avoid mistakes? Of course not. It just means do your best and then be prepared to handle it if the train goes off the track
It is Sunday July 20, 2014. Another Sunday ticking away just like any other day. They are all Sundays to me. I carry my church inside of me and it goes wherever I go every day of the week. I did all the building-type churches for most of my years. I loved it for the most part and certainly got a lot out of those experiences. Those experiences are part of who and what I am today. I still step into one of those buildings now and then and reach for evidence of the Spirit there; but, all I really have to do is reach inside of me and stroke the connection I have to all that is and I can be satisfied fully there or here or anywhere. The photo that accompanies today’s blog is one I took of the church built into the rock in Sedona, AZ. If you don’t take Spirit with you, it’s just another structure built on rock. If you are aware of Spirit within you then everything is a spiritual experience.
When I am giving love to and petting my dog Ollie it is a spiritual experience. When everything is Spiritual, that is, of Spirit, then everything becomes Spirit/God/The All That Is. and I am then always “in Church”. I am always aware. God/Good/Love/Allah/Jesus or whatever name you give to THAT which is, is everywhere at all times present. This is not to say that going to church, belonging to a spiritual group of any kind is not something a person needs or should experience. Until you have done your spiritual quest and have run out of reasons to regularly attend a church or religious assembly, then you are doing exactly what is right for you. For anyone in this stage or place, I say please keep going because that is where you need to be. God knows where you need to be. I certainly do not know where you need to be.
Your very Spiritual Essence is who and what you are and can be expressed in so many different ways, I cannot begin to wrap my mind around the different stages, expressions, and ways that Spirit can be expressed in, as and through each person and event. These expressions come from the ONE, the wellspring from which all comes. It takes forms, transforms, and recycles inside and outside of the bounds of time.
Be that unique expression of God, of Spirit, no matter whatever form that is. Know that Sunday is a special day that one can have every single day whether or not you go to the place you call church. Sunday is the most special of days. — Brenda A Elliott, MSW
Sometimes understanding why someone hurts others helps you to just sit in understanding rather than hurt. It gives you a space in which to make a more informed and intentional choice about how you want to react. It gives you a chance to decide whether or not you will fare well being around this person or people like them. You may even find that being around them might be good for their welfare. So, if you are so inclined and if you can handle it give it a try.
This space I speak of is not an element of time but rather a suspension from reactions, judgments, and self-talk that pops up whether or not it is wanted when people do or say mean or hurtful things. It takes practice and sometimes the response to these people is so automatic, it is in your head and most likely out of your mouth before you can open the space of suspension. In the end each person must decide for him or herself when or if enough is enough and to decide whether or not you want this person in your life. If you do it for the right reasons and not out of anger or hurt I think it will be better for you. I have no scientific proof of that. Take a leap of faith. I promise it won’t hurt.
Today as I sat in the play room in my daughrer Karen’s basement I began going through boxes of belongings that had been transferred from the home I had in Georgia to her garage also in Georgia for storage until I could go through them. As my hands worked through the contents of each box I found that I was, now and then, dipping my hands into pools of memories – photos, journals, memoribelia, greeting cards, home decore items, dishes and paper records of sales, taxes, and transactioons. Among the treasures was a knited cap my fist husband used to wear. I could hold it and put it on my head without tearing up or feeling deep grief but memories flashed through my mind like a fast-forward movie and I foound myself smiiing and thanking him for being who he was and for loving me.
During the self-impossed treasure hunt I found a few things to give away, some to trash, some to go to FLoirda with me. I probably have enough paper work to shred that would be enough to stuff a huge couch. Still this would not equal all the memoies that settle down in each container like ghosts from the past. Reading a few greeting cards from my second hunsband, I was touched by the beautiful and loving words the card imparted. There was one with a note from him thanking me and telling me he love me for taking a chance on him when I had known from the start that he had a cancer diagnosis that could possibly take his life within seven years. It was a gamble for sure. My future with him was probably not going to last for much more than seven years if that. I believed I was in love again and missed a partner in my life So, I took the chance and built new memories with him. As I closed the card, I viewed the memory with no regrets. It was meant happen the way it did from our metting to our marriage and his death
When you disturb the ground of memories, old roots appear but with those roots come more healing and another step of two in the new life unfolding. Wiser eyes peer back through the years and see things with clearer understanding causing more love and thanksgiving to bubble to the surface. The chore of going through boxes of stared items is indeed a treasure hung of huge proportions.
Time on my hands oh what shall I do
Write in my blog or sing a song or two
Shall I play a memory inside my heart or head
Shall I try to block those out or let go of the dread
Shall I watch the Sago bloom much to my delight
And watch as the babies grow with water, love and light
Shall I play go fetch with the fur baby of my heart
Or watch the palm sway with the wind until it is dark
Shall I type the words spilling out of me onto the page
Or shall I throw kisses of love into the valleys of hate and rage
Shall I gentle pet the world with thoughts of the divine
Or watch the dancing sun with dazzling rays of shine
Shall I sit among the dead and speak my words of life
And mourn for those who cannot hear and struggle with their strife
Shall I dance gracefully through every blessed day
And shall I find the words I know when there’s nothing more to say.
Something MORE was calling me to go on beyond all the beliefs I had. Something MORE was telling me that any religious faith was just one stop on the trip. It didn’t end at Easter, at the resurrection. It called me to get back on that train if I truly wanted to actually do something with all that. How many times does one need to make the trip to the altar or to a confessional? Don’t misunderstand please. I am not saying that these or other rituals or beliefs are not important for some people at some point in their lives and if that is where they stay, I am not wanting to drag them away from there. It is not my job to drag anyone anywhere and it is not my job to try to convince those who do not believe in a Creator to believe in one even if it is one of their own making.
My “job” (if I have one) is to allow the Creator to move through me, in me and as me. I believe that that was what Jesus did and others have done before and after Jesus. Before that could begin to happen, I had to desire that the infinite and divine power of love take hold of me, get my attention and make me fall into It. This Love has been blooming within me since then and will continue until the day that my essence will no longer occupy this corporal body. My job isn’t to share all this but Love has to be expressed through all means that it can find an opening. I can’t lock it up. It expresses through me in my writing and in the everyday things that I do and think.
From my Christian upbringing I could hang out at the stable waiting for the birth or I could hang out at the tomb waiting for the resurrection. But why hang out there when I can hang out anywhere and carry and nurture that Christ essence, that Power, that Love within me? Why not awaken to the Power within? This Power does not intend to make us super human, worshiped by others, held on a pedestal with palms and adoration laid at our feet but rather this Power is to make us ordinary humans doing super things from an empowered heart.
If you can set aside your belief about whether or not there is a God or if you believe there is, if you can set aside your “version” of God for just a moment or two and take the time (if and only if you are drawn deep within to do so) open yourself to the LOVE that you can believe in, you may be surprised what will happen to you. The stone may roll away and you will arise from your “tome” of self pity or self loathing or self aggrandizement or whatever your belief about yourself, your situation, and your life and about the world and others, no matter what that may be. You may ask to become Love Itself and if you mean it, you will. This doesn’t mean your road will be without potholes, unfamiliar territories, wrong turns, bandits along the way, or unfairness. But Love will hold you, hold your hand, whisper words of encouragement, rock you to sleep when you need to rest, and set you back on the road. What have you got to lose for trying? Belief systems can impede or enhance your journey. It is your choice. It is a choice I have made to surrender to the Love within and I have not regretted it one moment.
“All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.” – Leo Tolstoy
There is a song that was recorded by Air Supply in the 1980s called “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All”. It was one of my favorites and still is. Although I am sure this song was intended as a love song about one human being for another, the idea itself of making love out of nothing at all has always been, to me, about the Creator, the nothing at all out of which comes the everything. Love is the creative energy that wants to give birth to itself in many different forms.
I watched a program about a man who was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. He had a very young son and a wonderful wife. Life was good for him. She was murdered and due to the investigation being done very haphazardly and years later wrongs being covered up, he was sentenced to life in prison and unable to make any headway in proving his innocence. Over the period of 25 years, he lost his wife, his son, and his freedom. He fared most of these losses well up until his son now grown decided to change his name to the last name of his aunt and uncle who raised him. Then it hit him so hard, he crumbled and cried out to God for help. Now, whether or not you believe in God per se maybe you believe that there is something greater than you or a host of angels or some other Force that has no name. This man whom I watched telling his story was at perfect peace even though he had been wrongly accused and convicted of murder and had lost everything dear to him. How could that be? He had an EXPERIENCE that completely changed him.
When this man cried out in anguish to God for help he was blinded by a light and filled with what he called love but I know that that was a love that was beyond words and you can’t “know it” until you experience it. Once you do, you know beyond any doubt that there is a power, a presence, that you have never really felt before so profoundly. I listened to him try to explain what had happened, I saw a peaceful, loving radiance on his face as he remembered his experience of what he called God. He said being free, being exonerated took second place to this experience he had had. A team came to his resue and worked to prove his innocence and to catch the real killer. A couple of more years after his experience he was found innocent and the guilty man was caught through DNA that had been ignored prior to this time. He was finally released and all he could do was to be thankful for everything. His son who had disowned him was eventually reunited with his father though things were awkward for his son for a while.
Making love out of nothing at all. It can come to you, some inexplicable experience, that is difficult to articulate but which has the ability to completely change your life forever. You know that first of all you are loved in a way you never experienced before and you may come to know that this powerful and perfect LOVE is what you are made of, it is who and what you are. It animates you. It breathes you. After that you can embrace all of life. It all becomes one. It’s all good in ways that escape the unawakened. You are still human but you are an actualized human and your blinders fall away. You question only the lies that you have taken on as truth about yourself and your world. You see with new eyes and yet nothing has changed.
Making love out of nothing at all is a truth that can penetrate the thickest walls and make magical things happen and appear as though it were nothing. All it needs is a heart which has been broken open and ready to receive it..
I have had the whole house open today. I am enjoying lots of sun and breezes and I am enjoying the outside while sitting in the inside. A little bird has been sitting out in the back yard singing his cute little head off most all day. The bird’s song reminds me of total, ecstatic and blissful joy and happiness. He just sings and sings and sings like there is nothing else in the world. Do you wish you could get so rapt in something so blissful like that, to be able to sustain it like that, to just open up and let it pour out like stardust sprinkled in the air? You can even when you are not aware that this is what you are doing. You miss it because you may judge it wrong or not perfect enough. You may think it is so mundane that you miss knowing the mystical and fantastic thing that it is. Or, you just take it for granted. The cure? Awareness. Do more watching of your thoughts, desires, feelings, actions (your very aliveness) without judgement and you will become more aware. Here’s to watching the golden stardust glittering and pouring from you, around you and through you.
Studies have shown that when several people are questioned about an accident or other event, each give a slightly different version of what happened. Have you ever attended a movie with others or had a conversation with other people who went to see the same movie (or television program) that you saw and found that there were different things others saw that you missed or things that others interpreted differently from your interpretation?
As we experience something, we see or interpret it through the filters of our upbringing, our experiences or better yet, our interpretation of those experiences, socialization and much more. For example, we have needs that may or may not be clear to us and these “needs” drive our choices and reactions.
I think that if you understand that we all have filters through which we experience and interpret life, life may still not make sense to you but you probably can live better knowing that your world is yours and other’s have their own when it comes to how we respond to and interpret what we “see”. Perhaps you can lessen your angst and increase your tolerance level.
Fear has been both friend and foe. A lot of us who think we are becoming more spiritually conscious think that we should be exempt from fear of any kind. We also say that we know how fear can keep us from doing things we want to do or from being what we want to be. We talk about how love can overcome any fear. All of these are true to a point. But fear can be a friend. It can keep us from throwing all caution to the wind, not using our common sense, or not recognizing danger. Some times it is difficult to say whether or not a fear is a friend or a foe.
There is a lot of things that go into how much fear a person may be experiencing at any given time. Perhaps someone is threatening your life or you are in the mist of a war zone. That fear is your friend to help you do things to stay as safe as possible but there is no guarantee that you will be able to avoid harm or death. Sometimes you have fears from simply not knowing. Not knowing can send you into panic mode. No one likes to feel fear. Most of us don’t like to report to anyone that we have any fears because we might appear to be less spiritual or weak in some way. It takes more guts to say you have some fears than to lie to yourself and others. This is not to say you should continue growing your fears or burden others with them either.
I was curious about where fear forms in the brain. It comes from the Amygdala in the brain. What causes some people’s to be larger than others? What causes some people to tend to be more fearful in general that others? Why is it that some people can take a ride in an amusement park, enjoy the thrill and want to do it again while others are practically having a panic attack just imagining it? Are we taught fear, do we learn to fear from experiences that we have been through or is there some mechanism in some of us that is out of balance or malformed or damaged or over or under developed in our brains or our nervous system or some organ that causes us to be more fearful or less fearful than others? I would say yes to all of these possibilities.
We can face some of our fears and overcome them to a certain degree in various ways but can we find ourselves caught back up in a fear loop just when we thought we no longer had issues with that particular thing? My own experience tells me that we can at any time. How do we know if someone is fearful? Some are very good at hiding such feelings or pushing them down burying them, using distractions, or medicating them until they reach the boiling point and the fear or fears have totally taken over common sense and perhaps destroyed or misused the life we could have had.
So what is the good news? We have tools to deal with fear and it’s cousin anxiety. Use those tools wisely. Learn that fear is part of life and can give us warning signs. Unfounded or emotional fears can be helped through psychotherapy, breathing techniques, meditation, tapping and relaxation techniques and others. Naming the fear and facing it is the only way through. Some give their fears to God. Whatever it takes there is no right or wrong but stuffing the fears can make your life miserable. Telling yourself you should NOT have these fears or that you are failing as a spiritual being if you have them or that you are a weakling doesn’t help either and,it isn’t true.
They say where there is love, there is no fear and yet fear is part of being human no matter it’s origin. We can, however, learn to change what we able to change and learn to accept and live with what we cannot change. Make peace with your erroneous fears, listen to them, learn from them and make them subjects to the rule of your heart as much as possible. That’s all I know to do from where I sit this moment. And this now is all I have.